Why we bought a Baby Carrier and you should too!

Why we bought a Baby Carrier and you should too!

I had had a baby carrier in my list of things to buy while expecting our baby. Over time, I had done my research and decided that if I ever had to, I would buy the ErgoBaby 360 baby carrier. The reason I did not buy it in advance was because I wasn’t sure whether we really would need a baby carrier. I mean, I knew what it was for and how it could be beneficial, but the really high price (around $160 or SEK1500) made me put the decision on hold and buy it only if it deemed necessary. There are so many products out there and thanks to their marketing, everything seems necessary to first time parents.

Anyway, the first few weeks that I was home on parental leave with my wife and baby, we managed just fine as we also had my mom with us for help. All day long, either of us would take care of the baby so that no one in particular had to  stress out all the time. Despite this, within a few days I had started to feel my back hurt. Ditto for my wife as well. The reason wasn’t that the baby was so heavy (3 kg is nothing), but that your posture changes when you’re holding her up so much and it puts a lot of stress on the lower back. Over short terms, it doesn’t affect you much, but it takes a few days to start feeling the effect. At this stage, I did reconsider buying the baby carrier but the real push came a few days later when my mom left us and my wife and I were finally on our own.

On the very first day, my wife called me up at work around noon and told me that she felt absolutely tired because of holding the baby all day long and she wasn’t even able to prepare any food for herself. Her back was killing her and it was only day one of taking care of the baby alone by herself. I could hear in her voice how difficult she felt the situation was. I wasted no time and went online and purchased the ErgoBaby 360 from babyland.se and selected the same day delivery option. Fortunately, the delivery was free because the order was above SEK 1000 and we got the package delivered home the very same evening.

Did the baby carrier help us at all? It absolutely did. The first time I wore it around me with the baby in it, I could immediately feel the difference. My arms were finally free and by my side while the baby was held close to my chest and absolutely still. No longer was I forced to stand in an uncomfortable position in order to hold her correctly. Her head was just under my chin and I only had to bend my neck down in order to kiss her head. And the baby? She was so comfortable, she slept for over 1 hour in that position in the carrier. It was fairly easy for me to inspect her posture and ensure she was sitting comfortably inside the carrier. I did not feel any weight because the carrier’s thick band around my waist ditributed it very well. When I moved, it did not feel that it disturbed the baby at all. And so I spent the next one hour walking around our apartment, watching TV while standing, then sitting down for a while and getting up again. I joined my wife in the kitchen while she made something for us to eat. During dinner, I unfolded the head cover from the carriers front top pocket and covered the baby’s head so that I didn’t spill any food onto her. And it all worked just fine.

During the first couple of days itself we realized what a life saver the ErgoBaby 360 was for us. Though my wife finds it a bit difficult to put on by herself, I attribute that to her lack of practice rather than a problem with the product, though to be fair, it does take a bit of skill (but that is why you need some practice).

One of the reasons why I chose the ErgoBaby 360 over others was that I read more good reviews about this baby carrier than any other. My favourite review site bäst-i-test.se (though only in Swedish) also listed this as no. 1 and I usually take their recommendations without question. This carrier has a good build, a wide waistband and comfortable shoulder straps to distribute the baby’s weight well. For a newborn who cannot support her head during the first few months, one needs an ErgoBaby infant insert which is bought separately, but I purchased the ErgoBaby 360 Start Paket, which includes the infant insert.

Of course, ErgoBaby 360 isn’t the only option in the market. Another good option is to buy the BabyBjörn One baby carrier. It has equally good reviews as the ErgoBaby 360 and is comparatively slightly cheaper. Personally, I haven’t tried out any other baby carriers myself, but am quite convinced that these two are the best of the lot.

So, what should you consider while buying a baby carrier?

First and foremost, is the price. Can you afford a ErgoBaby 360 Start Paket (incl. Infant insert), which has a marked price of roughly SEK 1500 (I got it for approx. 1200 after discount on babyland.se). If not, there is no problem in going for a cheaper option by looking at other ErgoBaby models and the Babybjörn models. (There are some other brands also, but I haven’t done any research on them.)

Is the baby sitting in an ergonomic position in the carrier? Babies are supposed to sit in frog position and having the correct ergonomics is very important. ErgoBaby360 had the best ergonomics of the lot that I could figure out and therefore I went with it. Some older models of BabyBjörn were heavily criticized for not been ergonomic but the BabyBjörn One, released in 2015, has fixed that. So, do consider the ergonomics.

How long are you going to use the baby carrier that you are planning to buy? Is your child’s age/weight close to the upper limit for that carrier? Is it worth spending more on a carrier if you are going to use it for a shorter durations?

Material. Think about where you will be using the baby carrier. Will it be a hot environment or cold? Does the carrier that you are considering look like the baby will feel too hot in it if the environment is such? Having a mesh instead can help cool the baby down but it can get dirty easily and might cause a rash to the baby if it is expeosed to her skin. Is the material Oeko-tex certified? This basically means that the fabric is free from hazardous sunstances.

Baby position in the carrier: There are some carriers, such as the ErgoBaby 360 which allow the baby to sit in 4 positions: Front Carry Facing You, Front Carry Facing the World, Back Carry (like a backpack) and Carry on Hip. Not all carriers allow all 4 positions, so think about how you intend to carry your baby and invest accordingly.

These are the factors that I could include in this post and already, the post has become quite long. So, in a nutshell, our baby carrier turned out to be a life saver for us and it gives us the comfort and freedom we longed for without letting our baby out of site.

What do you think about this? Are you using or planning to use a baby carrier? Do share your experience by commenting below.

Did you like this post? Please click Like if you did and do remember to Follow my blog for more such posts.

What’s in our Diaper Bag?

What’s in our Diaper Bag?

In the months leading up to the birth of our baby girl, I spent a lot of time researching what should go in our diaper bag. I know, I know, what some might say. That it is the job of mums and not dads to plan diaper bags, and my wife complains just as much that I never let her do it either, but what can I say? I just love doing this stuff.

So, coming back to our diaper bag. Let me start with the bag itself. We bought a Skip Hop Chelsea (Black) even though, at around £85, it was far more expensive than I had earlier budgeted for. There were other very pretty bags, and I liked the Elodie Details diaper bags in particular but my wife did not like them too much. So finally, we decided on the Skip Hop Chelsea for these reasons:

  1. It had a lot of different pockets and compartments outside as well as inside and seemed easier to organize the stuff.
  2. It is of very good build and will last us a long time.
  3. Its looks are elegant and classy and i thought my wife can easily carry it anywhere and it will look decent.

But do not think that I am recommending this bag to you over all others. This was just something that we liked personally but your choice might well be different.

So, that was the diaper bag. Now, what do we have in it?

d2ba93fe-1c7a-4f27-a65f-52826fb5fc81-collage-1

  1. Diapers: We have a collection on Libero Touch, Pampers and Toujours diapers at home and which ones we carry is not that important here. But we make sure that we have 3-4 diapers in the diaper bag which we do not touch at home. The reason for just so few is that we know we will never be away from home for more than 3 hours, so 3-4 diapers are enough. They also act as a buffer in case we run out of our regular supply at home. These can last us half a day.
  2. Waste bags: to dispose of those soiled diapers. We bought a pack of Libero waste bags which contain 45 pcs and we think they should suffice for a really long time.
  3. Diaper Creams: I had researched and asked a few friends about which diaper creams are good. We had also ordered some free babyboxes earlier which came with some sample creams. These, because they are small in size, take very little space in the bag and we know in the beginning that their use will also be very limited. The bigger sized creams we have are stored on our changing table and if we need to carry them with us in future, we will simply pick them up. We are using Bepanthen and Inotyol as diaper changing creams. We are also carrying samples of Burt’s Bee nourishing lotion, a small bottle of Libero baby oil, some unperfumed baby creams by Apoteksgruppen. Another body lotion that we have is one we found at the children’s clinic (Barnavårdscentralen in Sweden) as well and the nurse recommended it as safe for use on our baby’s body and face: Decubal basic, original clinic cream. Remember that all creams that we use on Babies must be without perfumes, colourants or parabens.
  4. Wet wipes: We find it practical to keep small packs of wet wipes (pack of 24 pcs) handy in the bag. At home we avoid using these packaged wipes, instead we soak dry wipes (see next point) in water and use them to clean the baby, whether it is just a sponge on her body or while cleaning her during a diaper change. But when outside, the wet wipe packs come in very handy. The only thing to look for is that the wipes should not contain any perfume or other chemicals.
  5. Wash cloths: in Sweden, they are also called Tvättlappar, and they are the recommend option. Our midwife told us not to use wet wipes, but dip these tvättlappar in water and use them for cleaning instead. One can either buy reusable (at grocery stores such as Hemköp) or disposable wash cloths.
  6. Hand towels: a couple of these, just in case.
  7. Changing pad and mats: Our diaper bag comes with its own changing pad which, though not an ideal solution, is definitely a life saver and can be easily cleaned. We also have a few single-use waterproof mats, or the Libero Changing Mats, which we got for free from the hospital. These come in handy too as they protect the changing pad from getting dirty.
  8. Pacifiers: in the beginning, we were very apprehensive of pacifiers and, though we have a few at home, we never included them in the diaper bag. However, on one of our short trips in the city, our baby girl started to cry bloody murder on the way back and at that time, we sorely missed having a pacifier at hand for such desperate moments. So keep a couple in case the baby spits out one onto the floor.
  9. Nasal Spray: we carry the salt water spray from Näsfrida. This contains no chemicals and is super useful if the baby has congestion in its nose due to cold. Just spray it into either nostril and it makes the mucus soft and allows the baby to breathe easy and can be administered as many times a day as needed.
  10. Spare change of Onesies, Caps, Mittens, Socks: you never know when the baby feels a little more cold or when the clothes she has on get soiled by a diaper malfunction.
  11. Nursing Pads: We have a box of nursing pads at home, but we have also kept 2-3 pcs of them in our diaper bag in case my wife is nursing away from home and there is leakage. You can either buy branded, such as Libero, or buy the local department store brands, such as COOP, Hemköp, and others.
  12. A small rattle toy to distract the baby.
  13. Cotton pads for wiping off dirt or oil from the baby’s face.
  14. A couple of bibs and burp cloths.
  15. A spare feeding bottle.
  16. Waterproof adhesive bandage for the baby.
  17. Lip balm for the parents, because you never know when you miss it.

You might also consider adding some spare cash for emergencies, a contact information card in case you misplace the bag, and any regular medicines that you yourself take.

So, what do you have in your diaper bag? Any recommendations? Do let me know by commenting below.

And remember, you can always get in touch with me if you have any questions, by visiting my Contact page or emailing me at: peepoopburp@gmail.com.

Did you like this post? Please click Like if you did and do remember to Follow my blog for more such posts.

Bugaboo Buffalo: The Stroller We Finally Bought

buffalo2

The very first stroller that we checked out many months ago, and which we ended up buying last week, was the Bugaboo Buffalo. Back in July, while my wife was still only 3 months pegnant, we were in a shopping mall when we decided to have a look at the strollers.

The first thing we noticed about Bugaboo strollers was how premium they look. The color schemes were perfect, none of the curves or edges on any of the models looked weird or out-of-place. We thought that the Bugaboo Cameleon looked pretty amazing as well. However, we were completely blown away by the Buffalo, considering that its big wheels and higher load capacity suited the way of life in Stockholm much more than the other models.

So, at first look, we knew this was the stroller we wanted. However, when we found out the price of the Buffalo (at 11,500 SEK / 1300 USD / 1,00,000 INR), we weren’t sure we could spend such a high amount on it. But then, we had many months to go before we decided.

Over the next few weeks and months I did more research on strollers. I asked a few people for suggestions but never got a definitive answer. But everyone did agree that the Buffalo was great product. Anyway, we saw the Britax Smile 2 stroller, which was (at roughly 5,600 SEK) almost half the price of the Buffalo and was highly recommended by the stores which sold them. It was even recommended by the website bäst-i-test.se, which I follow seriously for advice. We liked the Smile 2 quite a lot as well, but I thought the shape of the chassis at the front was an eye-sore. Yes, that was the only thing I disliked about it, while also aware that it had a lesser weight capacity than Buffalo, but then the price was also accordingly low. But later I was told by one of the sellers that this model had frequent complaints of flat tyres due to them being air-filled. This made me think back to the Buffalo, which had foam filled tyres.

We also looked at the EmmaLjunga strollers and I found them to be very pretty as well. I definitely liked them much more than Britax models, but even the EmmaLjunga were a bit expensive. However, the biggest drawback to these were that they did not fold compactly enough, which was important for us from storage perspective.

While we had an open mind about the strollers, we started noticing other parents with their strollers all around Stockholm. Many of them had the Bugaboo which, incidentally, was our first love. They looked amazing and always stood out. By this time, my tolerance for the price was increasing and I knew that I could afford to buy it if I so chose.

So, then why exactly the Buffalo?
During my research, I ascertained that the quality of the Bugaboo Buffalo was excellent. There was nothing about the stroller which did not work as claimed. The foam-filled tyres, and their 12-inch diameter and swivel front hinges make the Buffalo wonderfully easy to maneuver, and its all-terrain capability make it perfect for heavy snowy conditions as well as other rough terrain. The two-wheel position allows you to effortlessly drag the stroller in sand. The handle-bar can be adjusted to different heights, which suits me (5’10”) and my wife (5’2″) equally well. The carrycot and the seat unit are approved to carry a child of upto an astonishing 17 kg. Add to this the 10 kg allowed in the under-seat basket and another 6 kg for hanging a diaper bag on the handle-bar and what you have is an actual Buffalo that carries all your load. And we tested the stroller with all these loads at a store and it made no difference to its maneuverability at all. It still moved equally smooth. The fabric colors were excellent and the canopy could be extended all the way down to completely cover the baby in very sunny conditions. And when folded, the Buffalo is deceptively compact.

Yes, there still were two downside to the Buffalo: its price and the fact that it weighs over 15 (or 17?) kg itself. The weight was a bigger concern for us because we weren’t sure if my wife would be able to handle it when moving around in metros and busses. But during the tests, she actually found this stroller easier to move around than the other lighter strollers from other companies. Moreover, the public transport infrastructure in Stockholm is so good that there is no place one cannot reach with a stroller.

As to the price, let me start by saying that nowhere in my research on the internet did I find a review of the Buffalo which said that they were overpriced for what they offered. The stroller is built like a tank, yet very easy to move with. It is the perfect combination of utility and aesthetics. The design is great and owners have been very happy. It comes with a 2+1 years extra warranty and I have heard that the stroller easily has a life of 5-7 years. And even then, the resale value is great as well. Considering all this, one could hardly call the Buffalo overpriced.

Finally, we decided that the first stroller we saw and fell in love with was actually a great product. We bought it at BabyTown, which is a nice little store in Stockholm and offered us a discount, which made it a much better deal for us. However, it is also possible to buy it online from the store BabyPlus in Netherlands. I have heard excellent reviews of this store (translate this link from Swedish to English and read in detail), they offer excellent discounts on the strollers and the accessories and ship to Sweden for only 20 Euros, and am quite convinced that they provide good service. The upside to buying the stroller from a store in Sweden is that you get förlossningsgaranti, which means that you can return the stroller and get your full money back in case something goes wrong with the pregnancy.

So, which stroller should you buy?
I realized that chosing the right stroller for one’s baby can be tough because different people have different needs. For some, the aesthetics are very important, while for others the budget is supreme. But going through all the tests, I discovered that there is no wrong choice. After all, I’ve never seen any strollers break up on the roads or children falling out because these were unstable. So, one must choose a stroller that they are comfortable with, and which they will enjoy carrying their baby around in, be it Bugaboo, Britax, EmmaLjunga, or any other brand. They all work just fine. For us, it was a stroller we loved at first sight, which we also found we could afford. So, we went with it and hope to have a nice time with our baby in it soon.

Do share with me how you decided on your stroller or if you have any questions.

Free Stuff for your baby in Sweden

img_3119Over the last few weeks, I have been immersed in researching what stuff we need to buy for our baby which is due in early January 2017. I have found, to my delight, that that many Swedish stores and websites send parents free stuff, also called Baby Boxes, which contain samples of various baby products such as diapers, baby moisturizer creams, bibs, soft pillows, etc. I think it is a good idea to get started with the these boxes to see and test what sort of baby products are available in the market.

I have already started registering and ordering these products and will describe each in a different post later, but for now the following are the options you have:

Babybox.se
Registering on this website places an order for a babybox from each of the following stores in Sweden:
Apoteksgruppen
Babyproffsen
Lloyd’s Apotek

All you need to do is, register online and they immediately send you an email with your order number. Go to your nearest Apoteksgruppen, Babyproffsen and Lloyd’s Apotek to collect your baby boxes from each of them. Each store has a different assortments in their boxes but basically you will get some helpful parental booklets, discount vouchers, baby creams, diapers, pillows, bibs, etc. (I have collected the free boxes from both the Apoteks listed on this site but am yet to go to Babyproffsen so I will share more details on their contents later.)

Apotek Hjärtat: Startbox
With Apotek Hjärtat, the box is named Hjärtats Startbox. You can read about it here. Even though the website here shows that the box is worth 349 SEK, it is free for those who sign up to become a member in their Klubb Hjärtat (for free). When I registered with them and ordered it, I got a mail saying it will be in stock in a week or so (owing to the high demand) and when it is available, they will send me a message to come and collect it. I will post details when I get it.

Allt för Föräldrar: Gravidpaketet
On this website, when you register and order your free Gravidpacketet, they will send you a post home with many free vouchers and discount coupons along with their parental guides. I have placed order for this already and I will update this post when I receive the packet. I guess these coupons might help obtain some stuff for reduced prices.

Libero Startbox
You can register for this here. They send you the startbox a few weeks before the expected due date. First, they confirm your phone number via email and then later send you an SMS with details of your order, which you can pick up from any ICA Maxi Supermarket. I have registered yesterday but will wait a while to see when they contact me. Then, I will post details of their box as well.

Babybag
Babybag is also a popular assortment of samples that is available with many of the hospitals and mödravårdscentral (mid-wife clinics) so it is best to ask your midwife about it. More information is available here. I will find out more about this when we see our midwife next. So, follow this post for more information on this.

BabyToBe
When you register at BabyToBe, they send you a list of discount codes, which you can use to buy some baby products at reduced prices as well as a free gift worth 300 SEK when you buy something from sveabarn.se.

Goboken
Goboken offers free books for kids according to their age. But honestly, I didn’t quite understand how it worked, though what I do understand is that if you register with them, they send you free welcome gifts. However, their registration asked for the baby’s name and birthdate, so I decided to register with them after the baby is born. Perhaps, if I figure out something earlier, I will definitely update this post.

I hope you found this list useful. There are many other resources available online but almost all are in Swedish, so I have tried to collect all this information in english so that it is easier for non-Swedish speakers to search and read. Naturally, this list isn’t complete yet, but I intend to update it with more information soon.

Have I missed anything here? Did you find any of my information is incorrect? Please let me know by leaving a comment below. I would love to know of more sources for free goodies for our baby.

Our First List of Baby Stuff to Buy

Our First List of Baby Stuff to Buy

When preparing for the arrival of a baby, buying the right stuff for it seems like a monumental task. Specially for new parents like us, who also need to figure out the What, When and Where from. Researching online has thrown up so much information that my initial list has now grown past 40 items.

newborn_list

Should I buy from H&M or other baby stores? Should I buy from an online store that is cheaper and delivers to Sweden? What should I do? And how soon?

I am just baffled. Does a tiny little baby that does not demand anything really need so many things to begin with? Do even adults with desires have so many things of their own?

Anyway, the first step for me to begin with is to divide the whole list into 2 parts: The Really Big Stuff and The Small Stuff.

The Really Big Stuff
This list, as the name suggests, contains stuff that is big in size as well as big in price such as Stroller, Car Seat, Baby Crib, Mattress, Baby Gym, etc.

This list is easier to make, since it contains so little, but difficult to fulfil. It has been months since we started looking into the various Stroller models across Stockholm but the problem is that we end up liking everything that we see. The price, the utility each model offers, etc. everything is so confusing. Similarly with the car seat. We don’t have a car, but do we need a car seat anyway? Will we need one when we take a flight with our baby? Do we need a baby crib right in the beginning or can it sleep in a Baby Nest instead? And so on.

The Small Stuff
This is the really tricky stuff and it seems to me that this list almost never ends, but keeps on growing. The stuff here might not be as expensive individually, but put together, they might surpass even the big stuff. Though it might seem easy, but when I think about which onsies to buy, how many, what size, what will they cost, etc., I feel overwhelmed and give up the decision-making for “later”.

For the sake of sanity, I have stopped adding more stuff to this list. The point of my post is not to overwhelm you but to show you how overwhelmed I myself am thinking about what to buy for our baby, which is due in January 2017.

Right now, I have no idea how I am going to start the shopping, let alone fulfilling everything in this list. With exactly four months to go before the baby is expected to come, it sometimes feel like we have a lot of time while at other times I feel a sense of panic. Adding to that the fact that we decided not to find out the sex of the baby, it has made our choices even more difficult because now we can’t even decide on the colors: whether it will be pink or blue. Hello Kitty or Batman?

I wish there was an easier way a first time parent like me could have my answers. Do you have any answers?